Monday, September 14

Buddha Got It Backwards

In Buddhism, the Second Noble Truth (out of Four) is that desire causes suffering.

"Suffering is caused by craving or attachments to worldly pleasures of all kinds. This is often expressed as a deluded clinging to a certain sense of existence, to selfhood, or to the things or phenomena that we consider the cause of happiness or unhappiness."

I'm sorry, but I think suffering causes desire.

If I am born, I age, I am sick or near death, if I am filled with sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair, I am involved in something displeasing, or I am separate from something pleasing, or I am not getting what I want, then I am Suffering, and my next state of being is to Desire to end the Suffering.

Thus, the pursuit to cease all desires is fruitless, because it does not end suffering, it only suppresses the body's natural warning system that something is amiss. It is the same as if a doctor treated your symptoms, and didn't cure the disease.


This is not to say that desire should run rampant, and that hedonism is good. Instead, I assert that desire should exactly equal the amount of suffering. If you desire for more than you suffer, then you are as unwise as someone that desires less than they suffer. If you are sick, you should desire medicine, not a mansion or a yacht.

The enlightened one knows themselves perfectly, and equates every suffering they feel with an equal amount of desire, and acts accordingly.

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